From Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Terry Jeffords to This Is Us‘s Jack Pearson, we look at five TV dads we could always count on this Father’s Day.
Jack Pearson (This Is Us)
Through thick and thin, This Is Us’s Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) supported his wife and kids financially. But more than that, this TV dad supported them emotionally.
His children often come to him to talk about the hard stuff – Kate’s struggles with body image and confidence; Kevin’s loss of purpose when an injury quashes his football dreams; and Randall, who feels different because he is adopted.
On the latter, Jack, the master of pep talks, tells Randall: “You are every part my son. Maybe I don’t want you to feel like you stand out. But I need you to know something.
“I want you to stand out. I want all of you to be as different as you can possibly be. In all the best ways.”
Jack wasn’t perfect. After returning from the Vietnam War, he turned to alcohol to help him cope with the trauma.
But raised by an alcoholic father himself, Jack was determined to do better for his own kids. And boy did he.
Dr Hwang (Sky Castle)
Sky Castle – a K-drama set in an ultra-rich residential complex about parents who pressure their kids to succeed academically – is full of dads who measure their children’s success by the grades on their report cards.
But when doctor Hwang Chi-young (Choi Won-young) and his family move into the neighbourhood, he shows there’s more to being a father than grooming kids to be top scorers and reprimanding them if they aren’t.
Hwang instils in his son values that can’t be learned in textbooks such as kindness and compassion. When his son’s classmate is faced with a life-altering event, Hwang and his family take her in and try to get her up on her feet again.
Though soft-spoken and polite, Hwang is not afraid to stand up for his wife and son who sometimes gets targeted by the conniving Sky Castle residents.
At work, he is also seen as a father of sorts to the team of doctors under him. Besides being a skilled doctor, Hwang never compromises on his integrity even if it means jeopardising the possibility of a career advancement.
Terry Jeffords (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
With bulging muscles and a towering stature, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) seems every bit the definition of an alpha male from the outside. But fatherhood brings out a different side to the cop.
From regularly taking part in tea parties with his daughters to spending an entire day building a dollhouse just for them, Terry isn’t afraid to embrace activities that are traditionally seen as less masculine to make his kids happy.
Appa (Kim’s Convenience)
Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) from Kim’s Convenience comes off as stubborn at first glance but as the show progresses, the patriarch of the Kim family has proven he is willing to change – and it’s beautiful to see.
One of the main story arcs of the comedy series – which centres on a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store at a suburbs in Toronto – is Appa’s fractured relationship with his son Jung (Simu Liu).
Ever since Jung made a mistake in his teens, the father and son have not been on talking terms. Though years have passed and Jung is now a working adult, their relationship is still estranged.
But in Season Two, Appa gradually begins to soften and forgive his son.
I love the Appa-Jung storyline because it’s not often you’ll find feel-good family comedies that get into the complexities of family relationships (In most comedies, by the end of an episode, quarrelsome family members would’ve usually made peace).
More importantly, it shows that fathers, even those who are set in their ways, are willing to change for the people they love most.
Hugh Crain (The Haunting Of Hill House)
The Haunting Of Hill House started out as a horror series but as the episodes went by, the show looked beyond delivering the scares and delivered a heartfelt family drama instead.
The critically-acclaimed series sees a family of seven moving into a mansion plagued with paranormal occurrences in the 1990s.
A tragedy that befell mum Olivia (Carla Gugino) at the mansion one night led dad Hugh (Timothy Hutton) to whisk the kids away to safety.
Hugh never spoke to his kids about what happened to their mum that night, which led to an estranged relationship between him and his kids. Eldest child Steven especially holds a grudge against his dad for not turning back to save their mum that night.
Years have passed, and the kids, now adults, and their father are reunited when another tragedy strikes.
The kids still resent him and have no qualms about making it known. But through it all, Hugh never stopped trying to reach out to his kids and being there for them.
And when the truth finally comes out at the end of the series, viewers saw how Hugh didn’t mind enduring years of being misunderstood as long as his kids were protected.
Hugh represents the fathers out there who make sacrifices for their kids they may never know about.